Scenes From EMC World, Global Partner Summit4:00 PM EST Thu. May. 31, 2012
EMC last week brought 300 channel partner personnel together for its first-ever Global Partner Summit and followed up with over 10,000 customers at EMC World, an event it used to showcase its storage and cloud products and strategy.
The events featured the top execs of EMC and many of its strategic partners rallying the EMC partner and customer communities with keynotes, training and EMC's largest new product rollout.
However, it wasn't all work. Attendees had the chance to enjoy top-notch entertainment in various venues and some very fun activities at the solutions pavilion.
Turn the page to catch up on what you might have missed.
EMC took advantage of every opportunity to advertise EMC World, including EMC World signs all over the Las Vegas airport and on the little taxi waiting spots outside the terminal where one gets the pleasure of shuffling along for up to an hour with nothing to do except read them.
EMC wasn't the only ubiquitous vendor in Las Vegas during the show.
Erstwhile EMC partner Oracle rented the roofs of a huge fleet of Las Vegas taxis to spread the message that its database appliances run its database applications faster than EMC's storage arrays and appliances.
The sign on the top of this taxi claims that Oracle beats EMC in NAS performance. Another sign on the back of many taxis also brags about Oracle's virtualization technology compared to that of VMware, which is primarily owned by EMC.
The Oracle messaging was at odds with EMC's messaging at the event, where executives talked several times about the importance of the two companies' relationship.
Joe Tucci, EMC chairman and CEO, was all over Vegas, speaking at keynotes both at the EMC Global Partner Summit and EMC World, meeting with numerous customers and partners, and walking the solutions pavilion.
During the EMC Global Partner Summit, Tucci's keynote speech lasted a refreshing five minutes, after which he immediately opened the floor for questions.
When asked about investments in technology companies, Tucci replied, "We don't publicize it, but we are a pretty big VC (venture capital firm)."
When asked about critical success factors for EMC and its partners, Tucci replied that the most critical factor is a business plan. "You get rewarded for beating business plans. We have to understand your business plan and invest in it. And you have to understand our business plan."
Tucci actually became quite the celebrity at EMC World. At his press conference following his EMC World keynote, he was swarmed by the press wanting to take his photo.
On stage with Tucci off to the left were also Pat Gelsinger, president and COO for EMC's information infrastructure products, and David Goulden, executive vice president and CFO. But Gelsinger and Goulden could have been on Mars as far as the paparazzi were concerned at that moment.
Tucci also managed to catch up with VARs during his walkabouts. Here, he is just finishing up a visit with Brad Malz, CTO of International Computerware Inc. (ICI), a Marlborough, Mass.-based solution provider.
Attendees of the hours-long keynote sessions on opening day of the EMC Global Partner Summit were kept awake and involved by what EMC executives would be sure to say were exciting and relevant content.
However, it also helped that EMC hired a really great group, the EMC Transformers, to entertain before and after the keynotes. At least that's what EMC execs called the group. A name that sounded suspiciously like the theme of the event: "Transform."
And that's what the bandleader called the group when asked by your reporter. The leader then said his group mates were actually studio musicians who played with several top acts and who were brought together for the EMC Global Partner Summit.
Michael Capellas, chairman of VCE, the EMC, Cisco and VMware joint-venture developer of Vblock converged infrastructure solutions, used his time on-stage to introduce the new VCE Vblock Series 700 Model LX system, based on EMC's new entry-level VMAX 10K enterprise-class storage array. It features Cisco UCS blade servers, Nexus networking technology and support for VMware vSphere 5, and it can run over 2,000 simultaneous virtual machines.
VCE is now adding EMC data protection technologies for Vblock backup, recovery, replication, business continuity and data mobility for virtualized environments.
"It shows you the power of what we can do," Capellas said. "We are natively integrated to the road maps of our parents. ... You can adopt new technology through Vblock faster than you can do on your own."
Brocade sponsored a reception for solution providers after the opening keynote sessions of the EMC Global Partner Summit featuring Frankie Moreno and his big band, a regular on the Las Vegas entertainment circuits.
A pool shark, a world-record holder builder of playing card buildings, a race track and a lot of vendors and solution providers beckoned EMC World attendees.
Unlike most conferences' solution pavilions, EMC's ran continuously throughout the day, which was good, given the amount of entertainment and information available.
The EMC Select booth featured Bryan Berg, the Guinness World Record holder for assembling buildings out of playing cards without the aid of glue or tape. Berg's tallest building reached over 25 feet tall and required over 1,700 decks of cards.
At EMC World, Berg's creations did not reach record levels. But, he was certainly a much-photographed part of the solutions pavilion.
What better way to celebrate EMC's "Transform" theme for EMC World than to transform attendees such as your reporter into big data. Attendees had the opportunity to have their photos taken at an EMC booth. Those photos were transformed into mosaics using other photos from the EMC World conference and then added to the prodigious amount of data, useful and useless, created every day.
Solution providers were out in force on the EMC World solutions pavilion looking to bring their skills to new potential clients.
Among those solution providers were Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Datalink, an EMC top-tier partner that used its booth to find new ways to collaborate with clients, said Irwin Teodoro, regional engineering director at Datalink.
Teodoro (left) said that he and other colleagues including Josh Wells, Datalink territory sales manager (right), are talking to customers about EMC's new VSPEX reference architecture.
"We like the flexibility of VSPEX, especially the integration points with customers' existing infrastructure," Teodoro said.
Jason Batra, regional director at FusionStorm, a San Francisco-based solution provider, said that his company's booth at EMC World provides time to interact with some of FusionStorm's top customers
"Also, we have a big group, close to 20 engineers, here getting certified and learning more about EMC products," Batra said.
Brad Malz, CTO of ICI, said his company's biggest draw at its EMC World booth was the new vCcube, or Virtual Cloud Cube, which he characterized as a "cloud in a box."
The vCcube comes in a portable custom case, and it is configured with 4-core or 6-core Intel processors, up to 256 GBs of memory, SSDs and an SATA hard drive, and several caching and connectivity options, making it suitable as a testing and development platform for cloud computing and virtual desktop infrastructures.
ICI originally designed it to demonstrate its capabilities to customers but is now selling it to other VARs and even to EMC and VMware, Malz said.
For Nexus IS, a booth at EMC World was the chance to showcase its ability to work with all the technologies provided by some of its top vendor partners, said Brian Castillo, marketing operations manager for the Valencia, Calif.-based solution provider
"For example, we can show how customers can make a call on one UC (unified communications) phone to another over the vendors' equipment, including the security piece," Castillo said. "We're saying we have the ability to say we do it all."
The booth of Greenbelt, Md.-based solution provider Presidio featured a four-sided rock climbing structure along with trained "anchor" people who encouraged clients and potential clients to "Reach Your Peak."
SunGard Availability Services, the Wayne, Penn.-based provider of disaster recovery, managed and other services to customers that in the last couple years has become a partner to solution providers as well, used its booth to talk about Infrastructure-as-a-Service and cloud services, said Debi Beatty, senior manager, channels marketing.
Jay Acosta, channel sales director (center), said the company was showing off its cloud services based on VCE Vblocks, its disaster recovery services based on EMC's Data Domain, Avamar, and its backup and recovery services products. "Our services are offered to all EMC channel partners," Acosta said.
Bob Olwig, vice president of business strategy at World Wide Technology, a Maryland Heights, Mo.-based solution provider, called EMC World a fantastic “immersion” into the latest EMC-related technologies and the related broad ecosystem.
"World Wide also believes that it’s a great venue for creating and building relationships with clients and partners," Olwig said.
At the WWT booth, Ed Halopka, a data center technical architect based out of the Phoenix office, describes his company's services to a client.